I remember driving through Arlington Cemetery when I was a youngster. When we went to DC (I lived in Bowie, MD) I would ask my parents to drive through Arlington Cemetery. Arlington was always a special place to me. We would drive down the narrow roads with rows and rows of graves, all with the same type of military headstones. Perhaps it was the repetitiveness of the headstones that soothed me or maybe it was the quietness of all the sleeping heros. Whatever the reason was, I just felt calm mixed with sadness. One time, I think it was on my birthday when we were on the way to my birthday dinner, we passed through the section where the casualties from the Vietnam war were being laid to rest. I saw fresh graves right next to each other, as well as fresh graves scattered through other rows. This really affected me and to this day, I still remember this scene. I felt fear mixed with dread as my dad was in the military and he was currently in or was going to Vietnam. The memory is now like a scene from a movie… a young, blond headed girl, watching out the passenger side of the back window on the way to her birthday dinner. Watching a sea of white headstones go by in the evening light. The scene being interrupted with the site of fresh graves. I remember asking why are there so many fresh graves? I was told that these graves were military who had been recently killed in Vietnam. I knew about the war, but was disconnected from it. I now realized how real the conflict was.
Many years later when I lived in Culpeper, VA, I would drive up to Arlington cemetery to visit and do some photography. I would walk through the headstones and read the inscriptions. I would walk through Section 60, as that is the section where our casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan were being buried. My feelings of dread, fear an unhappiness and not truly understanding what was happening when I was a child was replaced with pride and sorrow of all the lives that were being lost. I must share with you that my son is an active duty Marine and I visited Arlington several times when he was deployed to Afghanistan.
What a glorious sight it will be when all the righteous hero’s awaken from their sleep and emerge from their graves with uncorrupted bodies at the second coming of Christ!
1 Thessalonians 4:13-16 says:
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:50-54 says:
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.